Good morning, it’s Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Check out Editor & Publisher’s write-up of our mission to cover all 50 state legislatures across the country. In today’s edition, Ill. lawmakers file assault weapons ban; Minn. gov. to offer climate bill; Biden chooses S.C. for first presidential primary:
OHIO: The state House has approved a measure that would bar local governments from closing gun stores or confiscating firearms during riots or states of emergency. A previous version passed the state Senate, though senators must ratify minor amendments before the bill goes to Gov. Mike DeWine (R). (Columbus Dispatch)
Don’t miss our full rundown of everything that’s happening in Ohio’s very busy lame duck session.
ILLINOIS: The state legislature has approved changes to the SAFE-T Act that will allow authorities to keep those accused of violent crimes detained ahead of trial. (Chicago Sun-Times) They also approved a bill boosting incentives for electric vehicle makes and parts suppliers. (Crain’s Chicago Business) Democrats have filed a bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines following a mass shooting in Highland Park. (Chicago Tribune)
MINNESOTA: Gov. Tim Walz (D) says he will prioritize climate change, paid parental leave and marijuana legalization in the coming session as Democrats prepare to take full control of state government. He said he would push for tax rebates and cutting Social Security taxes, as well. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
MISSOURI: The legislature will attempt to raise the bar for proposed constitutional amendments next year, requiring two-thirds to approve any new changes. Voters would have to approve the change in an August 2024 ballot initiative. The proposal comes up again as abortion rights proponents consider a ballot measure aimed at overturning the state’s abortion ban. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
FLORIDA: Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said Thursday the state will pull $2 billion from BlackRock over environmental, social and governance investing standards, better known as ESG. Patronis will tell the investment giant to freeze $1.4 billion in long-term securities and $600 million in short-term overnight investments. (Orlando Sentinel) In the past five years, ESG funds have outperformed non-ESG funds, according to a recent Bloomberg report.
MICHIGAN: The state Senate unanimously approved a package of bills aimed at protecting survivors of abuse and sexual assault, fixing loopholes that allowed former doctor Larry Nassar to assault young girls for decades. The five bills would prohibit sexual contact under the guise of medical treatment and distribute age-appropriate educational material related to assault. (MLive)
TEXAS: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he would support decriminalizing fentanyl test strips, reversing his previous opposition in the face of rising overdose deaths. Abbott visited with University of Houston researchers who have developed a fentanyl vaccine that blocks the synthetic opioid’s ability to enter the brain. (Texas Tribune)
NEW JERSEY: A state Senate committee has approved a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, requiring workers to be paid the minimum wage and have written contracts. The bill would also mandate paid breaks and meal periods, and it would protect workers from being threatened over immigration status. (NJ Advance Media)
NEW YORK: State financial regulators are considering new rules for crypto currency businesses after the collapse of FTX. The state has regulated crypto businesses since 2015, but the new rules would establish how those firms are assessed costs for supervision and examination. (State of Politics)
NEW MEXICO: Attorney General Hector Balderas (D) announced a $60 million settlement with Kroger over the grocery chain’s role in the opioid epidemic. Balderas plans to announce settlements with Albertsons, CVS and Walmart over their roles in the epidemic in the coming weeks. (Albuquerque Journal)
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES: President Biden has asked the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee tasked with deciding the order of presidential primaries to put South Carolina at the head of the line, and to end “restrictive” caucuses. The committee is expected to allow New Hampshire and Nevada to hold contests on the same day a week after South Carolina, followed by Georgia and Michigan. (Associated Press, Des Moines Register) Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) still cashing in that favor.
ARIZONA: The Cochise County Board of Supervisors certified midterm election results after a judge ruled they broke the law when they missed a deadline to do so earlier this week. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) will certify the statewide vote — and her own election as governor — on Monday. (Associated Press, Arizona Republic) A federal judge ordered sanctions against attorneys representing Republican candidates for governor and Secretary of State for filing frivolous complaints. (Arizona Republic)
MORE: Ranked choice voting advocates are working to put an initiative on the ballot in 2024. Arizona would join Alaska and Maine in conducting elections by ranked choice. Nevada voters must approve a ranked choice voting measure a second time before their version takes effect. (Arizona Capital Times)
NEW YORK: The state redistricting commission voted Thursday to advance new state Assembly district lines after a state court ordered maps redrawn. The bipartisan agreement will still give Democrats an advantage, but the commission largely adopted a Republican proposal in 105 of the 150 seats. (State of Politics, City & State)
MONTANA: The state redistricting commission has advanced state House district maps proposed by two Democrats, who said their version would offer more competition in legislative elections. Presiding officer Maylinn Smith, a nonpartisan member appointed by the state Supreme Court, cast the tie-breaking vote. (Daily Montanan) Smith sided with Republicans on Montana’s congressional district map.
By The Numbers
362,455: The number of acres in California burned by wildfire this year, a fraction of the 2.5 million acres that burned last year and less than a tenth of the 4.3 million acres that burned in 2020. Peak fire season has now passed. (CalMatters)
$6.208 million: The average net worth of a member of the Florida state House. It’s all thanks to freshman state Rep. Kevin Steele (R), whose net worth tops $408 million — $72 million more than the combined net worth of the other 119 state representatives. (Tampa Bay Times) We know who’s buying drinks in Tallahassee this session.
Off The Wall
The Ohio legislature is poised to name an official state cookie: The sugar cookie. At least two other states — Massachusetts (traditional chocolate chip) and New Mexico (biscochitos) — have named official state cookies. (Columbus Dispatch) We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: We are absolute suckers for stories about official state symbols.
Quote of the Day
“I’d start eating them now but I already had my breakfast.”
— Joseph Maraia, 96, who spent $4.80 on a cookie and coconut macaroons infused with marijuana on Rhode Island’s first day of legal recreational sales. (Providence Journal)